IN THE SPOTLIGHT
One Year For Jesus
Once I was offered to join the team in our church to share the Good News with people in villages. I prayed, and the Lord said to me, “Do not worry, I’ll always be with you.” Then I decided that no matter what, I would go and serve the people. It’s been three years now, every week we travel to towns and villages of our area and bring God’s Word to people who are in need of salvation. Our wonderful, merciful God has given me strength and “made my feet like the feet of a deer” (Hab. 3:19), and enabled me to preach the Good News!
ALTAI (RUSSIA_ – We thank God that He has chosen us – to bring the news of salvation to people of Komsomolski town is a great honor. Of course, it does not always go smoothly and well. Some people accept the Good news, some – don’t. Many people oppose and say: “We’re Orthodox, we have a church…” But when we ask them, “Who is Jesus for you?” – they don’t know what to answer....
With those who accept the News of Salvation, we keep in touch. When we come for a visit, we always bring something: a book, a newspaper and some treats for tea. It takes time to build relationships, but it is worth it. Today there’s a home in Komsomolski – Semyon Ivanovich’s – that is willing to invite people for home church meetings. We praise God for this man! He’s 85, but still active: he helps people remove the garbage using his truck. He introduced us to his friend, Vassily Yakovlevich who is also 85. Recently he prayed the sinners’ prayer.
We stay in touch with people who come to our home church meetings. Some time ago a new family joined us: a mother, Zoya Romanovna, she is 78, and her son Nikolai, he’s 55. The mother is a Christian, and besides Nikolai she has two other sons and a daughter. Nikolai was a military officer. Because of his drinking habit, he lost his family. He willingly talks to us, shows us pictures of his past life. He feels a lot of pain, disappointment and hurt. We pray that God would bring him to repentance and would restore all that was destroyed.
We’ve seen the first fruit of our prayers: two weeks after we met Nikolai and his mother we learned that Nikolai drank less than before and once he came home almost sober after a birthday party.
Some people are not able to attend home church due to disabilities, so we visit them at their homes. We talk, study the Bible, worship the Lord and pray together. We praise the Lord for all opportunities He provides, His strength, peace and joy!
Komsomolski settlement team, Altai region
BARNAUL (RUSSIA) – Kalmanka town is not large, about 3 thousand people. We’ve come here several times to share the Good News and pray for the alcohol-addicts, as there’re many of them in Kalmanka. We already see the results of our prayers: it is our third visit to one home, and now all family members are sober, and they even cleaned the place up, so the yard is clean and tidy. And when we read the Bible with these people, the Word of God changes their faces – they begin to glow and their once wan eyes liven up, the Holy Spirit touches some of them so mightily they begin to cry. We see the conditions that they have to live in, and it is our desire that their lives could change. We pray and believe that it is possible for God.
There’re other families – working people, pensioners, young people. When we start telling them the Good News, many of them get nervous: they don’t have time, they have problems and troubles. Then we begin to read the Bible, suddenly we see interest in their eyes, their faces change and the Word of God touches their hearts.
Some time ago, Jehovah’s Witnesses lived in Kalmanka, and they went door to door. That’s why many people wouldn’t let us in, but many people give us their phone numbers so that we could invite them to come if there are any crusades. Two people are willing to come to Barnaul to our church’s conference. We pray that they’re able to solve their issues with their work and finances and are able to come.
We’re thankful to God for the opportunity to preach the Gospel. We always return home inspired and filled with joy, strength and desire to minister to people. Glory to God!
The Light of Revival Church team, Barnaul
ULAN-UDE (BURYATIA, RUSSIA) – By God’s grace we continue to preach the Gospel to the people of Buryatia and they get saved. They are thirsty for God. An old Buryat woman of 87 years old repented after sister Marina told her about God in Buryat language. One day after that we returned and brought her a Bible in Buryat language. She took the sinner’s prayer and the Lord’s prayer – a brochure in Buryat language. Her granddaughter promised she would read it to her and memorize it.
KALUGA (RUSSIA) – We met Alexander two years ago in the town of Suvorov where we gave out homeless people hot meals. The first few times he came drunk, listened to our stories at the improvised services inattentively, chuckling. But he always was very accurate to repeat the words of the Lord’s prayer.
Now Alexander is 30, and the last 6 years of them he has been living in the street after his father’s death. During the two years Alexander realized that the Christians wish the best for him, but he didn’t want to hear a single word about a rehabilitation program, “I won’t make it, it won’t work for me”.
But recently he heard a testimony that touched his heart. One brother from the One Year for Jesus team (his name was also Alexander, he is on the right on the picture), who was homeless before, shared about changes in his life because of his faith in Jesus. After that Alexander said he wants to put an end to the life of a homeless man.
Let us keep him in prayer and believe that God will finish what He has started and the homeless man will find salvation and home!
Team of the Grace Church, Kaluga
BARNAUL )RUSSIA) – In one of the towns in Altai region we have been teaching, talking and sharing, being led by the Holy Spirit, we were praying and fasting. We can see the changes. To one of the homes that used to be a nasty place, God’s order came. Here’s the story.
Mother Evgeniya, is disabled from childhood, receives two welfares from the government for herself and her son Maxim of 12 years old. Her sister Irina was taking almost all their money and would buy alcohol to then drink it at their house with her friends. Up to 10 people would come to the house every day. Because of that the boy is mentally disturbed and he needs private tuition. Another man, Dennis, 30 years old, an alcoholic too, his mother and step-father also lived at the same house.
We preached to them, many of them repented. Now Dennis is in a rehab center. His mother has repented and thanks God for answering her prayers and for her son having a desire to change his life. His step-father is still contemplating. Every time we come back we see the changes. They’re expecting us, it is clean in the house, they’re all sober.
Evgeniya took her credit cards back from her sister. Maxim is allowed to come to class for the lessons. We brought him clothes, footwear, school supplies, he was happy and his mother too. Irina, who used to live off her sister’s welfare, is looking for a full-time job and is now working part-time nursing some old lady.
We kept praying for Maxim that God would give him a chance to go to some health centre or a boarding school, because he still needs some special care. And God answered: now Maxim is at a boarding-school for three months and he really likes it there. His mother Evgeniya repented and gladly communicates with other Christians.
There’s a place at the town where new converts come for fellowship, prayer and Bible studies. Sergei and Galina’s family opened their home for the meetings. Sergei began to tell people he knew who drink alcohol, about God and that there’s a way out, his desire is to help them and introduce them to Christ. God answers our and their prayers.
Tatiana Ivanovna, one of the new converts has a son, Yura, he is confined to bed for four years, one side of his body is paralyzed. His wife Svetlana nurses him. It was God’s will that we went to see them. Svetlana welcomed us warmly. Yuri at first was very upset and said he didn’t believe in God. That didn’t stop us. We began to share about Jesus and a gift of salvation. The whole family repented and they invited us to come back.
Changes come to other homes too.
Team of the Light of Revival Church, Barnaul
BARNAUL (RUSSIA) – We met grandmother Tanya, as she introduced herself, in the village of Sokharevo in Kosikhinski district of Altai region. The village looked weird: it seemed there’re no streets and the houses were grouped in small groups in some distance from each another. They didn’t even have a food store, not to mention a hospital or a school – there’re no kids in the village anyway. Half of the houses were abandoned, and in the rest of them elderly lonely people lived.
Grandma Tanya is 85. She lives with her husband Alexei. He had a blood-stroke and hardly walks and talks. Grandma Tanya has to take care of the household, garden and also takes care for her husband. Sometimes a nurse from a nearby town comes to see them. Grandma Tanya has children, but unfortunately they do not help in any way. Grandma Tanya shared her hard life story for a long time. When she finished, she let us pray for her husband. Though at first she said no, she felt uncomfortable, but we insisted, and she agreed. Of course we were ready to see tough conditions of people sufferings from disease, but the reality was far worse than we expected. It was hard to imagine, how it was even possible to live in such conditions. What makes someone live like this – helplessness, hopelessness, despair, alcoholism?
Alexei could hardly talk, but he agreed with us in sinners’ prayer, and then grandmother Tanya invited Jesus into her heart as well. With tears in their eyes they listened to a story how Jesus died for their sins, and through their faith they received His gift of salvation.
We were leaving Sokharevo with mixed emotions: we didn’t feel the joy we usually have after the outreach. The village left an uneasy impression. But at the same time we felt that we were exactly where we were supposed to be – where people needed our words of support, comfort and encouragement. We plan to visit this family again, to find out how grandma Tanya and her husband are doing.
New Life Church team, Barnaul